Wednesday, November 1, 2017


My final Four in Art Quilt is called 'Eureka!'. It is intended to be an illuminated letter illustrating a 'eureka moment' or a moment of illumination. More details can be found on my blog, Rainbow Hare.

Illuminating Hillsides Simone Gautier Bradford

Illuminating Hillsides 2017
Simone Gautier Bradford

Just a little bit of mad piecing with burlap, linen, 
foil upholstery fabric and quilting cotton.

Quilting with glow in the dark thread. 

Glowing thread. 

Eclipse • November 2017

Eclipse, 12" square
November 2017
This is the final post, the final quilt of our five-year-long art quilt group, Four-in-Art.  I chose to use the recent North American eclipse as my subject, given that our challenge this quarter was "Illumination."

See more at my blog OccasionalPieceQuilt, or, for short.

And just as a reminder...


Our theme this quarter, "illumination", offered so many options and interpretations.  And yet I chose the literal one, the dictionary definition:  (a) spiritual or intellectual enlightenment, (b) a lighting-up.  In part, I think, I did so because this marks the end of my time with this very special group, Four-in-Art.  It has been a great ride with so many talented, visionary, creative women and although I will miss them all, it is time for me to wander new paths.

But enough of that, for now.  "Illumination" is probably the best-ever ending theme for me because it was what drew me to the art quilt side of quilting - just feeling there was more inside to show itself, to explore, to light up.  And for this reveal I chose to revisit all my submissions to this group, hence SCRAPBOOK.  It is a look back and each one reminded me of my life - where I was, what else I was working on, what motivated me.

When I settled on this simple design, my plan was reasonable, simple with attention to handwork detail.  However, the printer had other thoughts.  And after fighting with it for 2 days, I relented and resorted to "printable fabric, sew on".  Easy peasy, right?!  Nope, box # had possessed paper which refused to release from the backside of the "printed picture".  AND box #2 was similarly possessed.  Intellectual enlightenment, in this case, resulted in "riding the horse in the direction he was going".  Print and sew directly onto the top.  Stiff and inflexible became the operating terms of my days.

But aren't the pictures of past efforts fun?!  It was a week-long trip down memory lane.

I debated using black-corner posts, but opted for non-distraction.  The stiff corners were going to curl and bend regardless. 

When it came time for backing, my stash yielded the perfect piece (no idea where else I might have ever used this!).

This, too, provides memories --of all those people (and admittedly male for some reason) who called me "Betty Boop" in my past life.

Elizabeth is the muse who started this thing, Four-in-Art, and her friendship means the world to me now.  She has shared with me, and so many others, both spiritual and intellectual enlightenment and every time we talk there is a "lighting up" when we say goodbye.

Rachel, our current leader, has been along for the ride all the way and she is my "mom hero".  I am in awe of all her skills and her relentless "joie de vie".

My sincere thanks to all our other current, and past, group members, for their inspirational quilts and creativity and their support of my submissions.  I look forward to following the "new group" and their journey.

So until we meet again!

Illumination: No 4 in the 'Light' series

My quilt is about illumination in both the physical and metaphorical sense.  I thought of the light coming from cathedral windows, and dancing on stonework, and of the colour and gold used in illuminated texts.  In both of these contexts is the possibility for intellectual or spiritual illumination.

The materials and techniques I used reflect all these different strands.  You can read more on my blog!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Four-In-Art Q4: Light: Ilumination


My mind immediately went in two directions when I saw the challenge for this quarter.  The first was the way the sky was illuminated just after sunset, almost like a reverse rainbow.  And I could have done that and probably been pretty happy with it.  But what I really wanted to do was make an illuminated letter.  Medieval style.

Enter the William Morris R

I searched online for an illuminated R that I liked that was copy right free.  I came across the image below.
It is one in a series of letters that William Morris of England designed in the 1800s.  You should read about him.  He apparently started the Arts and Crafts movement in England.  He was also very interested in illuminated medieval style lettering and printing.

The quilt itself is reverse applique, and to describe all the time and the technique I will devote a maker post to this quilt in the next couple of days.

The gold is a lame, the rest are quilting cottons.  The black is a batik.  The whole thing is quilted with Superior's invisible poly on top and black Aurifil on the bottom.

 Just a fun birdhouse print on the back.  Great for hiding stitches.....  A label is coming, I promise.  The batting is actually a fusible fleece.  I'll go into detail in my maker post. 

Finished size: 14"x 15"
You can directly visit my blog *here*

Illuminating Sunlight

My quilted project for the 4th quarter reveal is titled Illuminating Sunlight. You can read more about the inspiration for this project on my blog HERE.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Stained Glass Shadows

My quilt project for this challenge incorporated paper piecing and 60 degree triangles to interpret Elizabeth's sub-theme Stained Glass Shadows. The idea that stained glass shines on a surface and casts a shadow of color on that surface was what we were to base our pieces on. 

The upper portion of my quilt is a paper pieced stained glass block I designed in EQ7.
The bottom portion used 60 degree triangles cut from lighter pastel fabrics 
than the fabrics used in the upper paper pieced block. 
They were sewn in relation to where the shadow colors from the stained glass might fall.

The quilting was used to accentuate the colorful shadows with their somewhat blurred effect on the surface of the containment.
It also helped define the grays of the stone work in which this window was housed.  

 For more information about my challenge piece, visit my blog. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Stained Glass Shadows

I loved this theme, which Elizabeth suggested.

I went looking for stained glass shadows in the National Portrait Gallery

although I found most of my inspiration in Elizabeth's photographs, particularly the way the shadows where light wasn't falling looked purple.

My quilt is intended to capture the saturated colour and softened nature of the light where it falls, and the purple shadows and crisp shapes of the areas where it doesn't. Read more about it on my blog

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Colored Shadows

Colored Shadows.  A mini quilt made for my Four-in-Art Group.
This Quarters theme was light: Stained Glass Shadows

 I confess that I wish it had stayed more like this, more vibrant, but with time....and water,

 It ended up more muted.  My inspiration was the way the sun shines in through a stained glass window onto the floor tiles of some ancient cathedral.
 Just a fun teapot print for the back.
This mini finished up at 11.5" x 12.5"

You can visit my personal blog to see the details of the making of this mini at

Stained Glass and Shadows

Sadly, my shadows are not all I'd hoped for but you can see more about this quilt on Rainbow Hare, Janine :)

Rose Window

For the August 1, 2017 Challenge, the theme was Stained Glass Shadows, in the overall yearly theme of Light.
Rose Window
13 1/2" wide by 18" long
Quilt Number 185

I decided to focus on the colors left as the sun passes through stained glass windows, doing some improv piecing, then dense quilting to create this little piece.

You can read more about it on my blog, (which stands for OccasionalPiece-Quilt).  This is the penultimate challenge for 2017, as our last one for the year is November 1st.  Check back then to see all the talented quilters create for that theme.

James' Gift

Like most people I have always loved stained glass and the mesmerizing shadows it can cast.  And a few years back I even took a class and made my own piece which, sadly, doesn't cast much of a shadow.  Shortly after I retired I began making stained glass mosaics, even sold a few, and this one hangs in our house on the coast.

But more relevant to this post, stained glass is no stranger to our home in Virginia.  We have a portion of a door, reportedly from a Scottish dance hall:

along with several Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pieces, such as this one:

But my most treasured pieces were made by my friend, James Johnson.  We worked together in the title industry for a few years before he relocated to Phoenix.  During his tenure in Virginia, he became a trusted friend with a brilliant insight into the human race and a charming wit second to none.  These days we stay in touch via Facebook, fortunately!

James was around when my husband and I built our log home and one of his pieces is now a permanent fixture and was the inspiration for this post.   Let me introduce "James' Gift":

I say permanent because we actually mounted it into our bedroom door:

All the doors in our house are vintage and none match - a variety of panel styles, and this particular one lends itself to James' work beautifully.

My fabric interpretation of this, I fear, fails to convey the true beauty of the real thing, but I love it nonetheless!

The top portion is clearly the original piece, but the portion section is meant to convey how the dark red actually shows up in shadow.  The fabric used in the bottom, from Alison Glass, is truly JUST how it looks in reflection on the wall.

Shown next to the dove-tailed corners of the logs-- I think it looks perfect!

One other piece James made for us is this sweet flower which hangs in my bathroom window, happily:

Aren't I lucky to have such a talented friend?  These pieces are part of my life and always make me think of him!

For the backing of our Four-in-Art effort, I used a Michael Miller metallic piece which proved to be a challenge to quilt (and I immediately donated the remaining 8 fat quarters to our guild donation table!).

As always, the label is the part I most enjoy (although this go round it took a half dozen attempts to print, leaving me in a battle of wits with the printer).  And because of the metallic in the fabric, getting this thing to rest straight was impossible!

Although I was initially stumped with this sub-theme of "stained glass shadows", it proved to be a pleasant endeavor.  My thanks to James for his gift many years ago, which continues to bring enjoyment, and to Elizabeth for the challenge!